Thursday, October 20, 2011

Links Oct 20

Dutch masters of tax avoidance Guardian
Oct 19 - "The Netherlands is making a name for itself as the new home of the art of cutting corporate tax bills." Francis Weyzig's 2007 paper "The Central Role of Dutch Financing Companies in Tax Avoidance Strategies" is cited. Koos de Bruijn of TJN Netherlands explains: "The Netherlands is an increasingly attractive location for multinationals to place holding companies, because of the tax treaties it has with over 100 countries...."

Guernsey Leading Field In Tax Cooperation With Africa Tax-news
Sep 27 - "Guernsey is set to conclude a further six bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). "Guernsey’s Director of Income Tax, Rob Gray said: 'The OECD's Global Forum has emphasized the importance of working with developing countries and sharing expertise and best practice on tax transparency.' " See here why TIEA's are NOT best practice. "Hat tip: David McNair.

Tax evasion cloud over Asia refuses to budge swissinfo
Oct 5 - "The explosion of wealth in Asia continues to make the region the world’s most sought after hunting ground for private bankers. But suspicions linger that some private banks are redirecting the illicit assets of tax evaders, despite claiming that they are setting up business in Singapore and Hong Kong to tap into local wealth."

Swiss banks tout stability and secrecy to lure rich Reuters
Oct 5 - "Switzerland's banking industry is relying on its stability and expertise to ensure it has a bright future as a leading center for managing the assets of the rich, despite a concerted global attack on its tradition of secrecy." See The non-perils of information exchange for debunking arguments that are used to promote bank secrecy.

EFG private bank to restructure after “missteps” swissinfo
Oct 18 - "Zurich private bank EFG International has announced restructuring plans and an expected loss for 2011." EFG has a presence in a number of secrecy jurisdictions.

India: Withholding tax on Swiss earnings to remain same The Financial Express
Oct 14 - "In the recent amendments to the Indo-Swiss Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), India has managed to retain the same level of withholding taxes, as before, that it can levy on Swiss earnings. However, it may continue to be shortchanged while getting information on tax evaders in future."

Greeks are masters of the tax dodge The Star
Oct 10 - "In a country where stiffing the taxman is a national pastime, nailing scofflaws requires ingenuity and stealth. So helicopters were deployed earlier this year to count backyard swimming pools in the Greek capital’s affluent northern suburbs ..."

See also:
Tax-free city - Kranidi Capital Tax (In Greek - rough Google translation provided here)
Oct 11 - Kranidi has established more than 200 off shore companies, for which in most cases the only asset and activity is to own a luxury property.

Here is where there is money. Hundred's of millions in tax evasion identified by the SDOE! imerisia ((Again in Greek - rough Google translation provided here)
Oct 10 - On an investigation by Greece's financial crimes squad SDOE: "The survey conducted by the SDOE found doctors, farmers, police and astrologers by bank deposits "eye-popping" compared with the tax statements."

Stateless income Reuters
Oct 4 - David Cay Johnston writes on how "The multinationals prefer investing in high-tax jurisdictions because it so happens that is where they can earn the highest returns. Multinational companies then reduce or eliminate those seemingly high taxes by using simple, widely used devices to take profits in low-tax and no-tax jurisdictions. Such practices create 'stateless income'".

USA: GOP looks at international tax revamp The Hill
Oct 18 - "Republicans are working on a plan that would end the taxation of most foreign profits earned by U.S. corporations."

A desperate Obama kicks Sarbanes-Oxley halfway to the curb The Globe and Mail

Oct 17 - "Mr. Obama seems willing to gut one of the most significant investor protections of our time" ... and "seems to have embraced the misplaced deregulation fervour of his enemies, increasing the likelihood of more Wild West years in the U.S. capital markets."

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